I have been working with builders on so many different projects over the last 10-11 years and it wasn’t until this year (2020) that I was fortunate enough to make the decision to use a builder for my own renovation. I found that even with my experience in the plumbing industry I still forgot to ask simple questions that would have helped me better understand the entire project.
1. Your plan in your head needs to be put on paper.
Planning will help avoid mistakes, delays and design issues. By putting your plan on paper, your ideas will be better understood and better received by the builders. By combining your plans and their experience, the renovation should be seamless and finished in line with your vision.
2. Ask for a schedule of dates.
By asking for a schedule of dates, the builder will be accountable for timing. It will also ensure that all the other trades are honest about time. If a trade isn’t available then they aren’t suited to the job. It’s important you know exactly how long it will be before you can move back home. If you don’t understand the schedule you could end up spending unnecessary money on Airbnb’s or perhaps end up overstaying your welcome with the in-laws.
3. Organise to complete a few site visits.
While you may think that common sense prevails, you would be surprised that this isn’t always the case. Everyone has a different idea of what they think is comfortable and functional, and everyone has different design taste. Be sure to make your life and the tradie’s job easier by taking the time to have a look at the progress before the project gets too far ahead.
4. Don’t move back too early.
The last place you would want to be is in the middle of the renovation. It is messy and dirty and it turns your home into a construction site. Living on site can also make it more difficult for tradies to complete their work. If you want the work done quickly and with less stress then I would find a place to stay while the project is being completed.
5. Have a contingency plan/money.
There is always more money to spend. Don’t stretch yourself on the initial quote. As the walls are stripped and the dark side to your home is uncovered there could be some unexpected problems which might require more money. If you stretch yourself on the initial quote and can’t afford the extras, it could damage the relationship with your builder. Respectable and professional tradies are there for you and want the best results because they take pride in their work and care about their clients. I would recommend contacting your builder or finding a builder that you trust. If you have a trustworthy and experienced builder, then adding that little bit of comfort and luxury to your home shouldn’t be stressful, it should be exciting.
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